Portugal - General Information

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Country Name

Portugal (Portugal)

National Railway System

National Railway Operator

Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses, the former national operator CP, has been broken down into separate elements.

The passenger operation is now CP Comboios de Portugal, a government owned company, currently organised into three business units. • Urban trains - Lisboa, Porto and Coimbra; • Alfa Pendular, Intercidades and International trains; • Regional and InterRegional trains

The freight operation, CP Carga, was sold as a condition of Portugal's bailout by the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund; in January 2016 it was acquired by MSC Rail, a subsidiary of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) with locomotives and wagons branded "Medway".





UIC code

numeric 94; alpha P.


Journey Planner

Train times A realtime App/webpage with a train number/traction search facility can be found here.

Downloadable Timetable

  • CP: Train times, then scroll down to "Timetables in PDF Format".
  • Fertagus: Fertagus then select "Timetables"

Printed Timetable

None issued. Leaflets are available for Alfa Pendular / Intercidades (InterCity) and for suburban services around Lisboa and Porto. Fertagus issue their own timetable booklet. No printed material appears to be available for Regional services, only timetable board display posters; travellers by such services would be well advised to make their own print outs of the relevant web pages (which are the display posters).

Engineering Information



Printed Maps

Web-based Maps

  • A simplistic CP Network Map.
  • More detailed maps are in IP's [1] (Network Statement, annex 3.2.1 and annex
  • Thorsten Büker's Iberia Map, with enlargements for Porto and Lisbon a useful single sheet overview - dated March 2018.


See CP's tickets page. Note the The Portugal Rail Pass, which offers unlimited travel for non-residents.

See also discounts. CP offers the Cartão Dourado for the over 60's, similar to RENFE's Tarjeta Dorada. However, CP requires applicants to offer official proof that their household income does not exceed the Portuguese average! There is however a straightforward 50% discount for over 65's on production of ID [as at September 2022].


Infrastructure Authority

Railway infrastructure is owned and maintained by Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP)- a merger of rail and road infrastructure authorities in 2015. There is no corporate entity with overall responsibility for railways see section 1.1 in the (Network Statement)

Network Statement

The Infraestruturas de Portugal Network Statement.


1668 mm.
The Aveiro – Sernada do Vouga – Espinho line is metre gauge.

The Lisbon and Porto tramways, along with the Metro Sul do Tejo, are 1435 mm gauge. The Sintra tramway is metre gauge.


25 kV 50 Hz. The former Estoril Railway from Lisboa Cais do Sodré to Cascais is to be converted from 1500V dc to 25kV 50 Hz by the end of 2026.

The Lisbon Metro (third rail), Metro de Sul and Porto light rail systems are 750 V dc. The Lisbon, Porto and Sintra heritage tramways are 600 V dc.

Rule of the road



In IP's Network Statement:

  • Annex 3.1 gives overall distances by Line
  • Annex gives more detailed distances between significant stations.

Private Railways

Travessia do Tejo, Transportes SA: Fertagus: (Lisboa) Roma-Areeiro - Campolide - (over Ponte 25 de Abril {25th April Bridge}) - Pragal - Pinhal Novo - Setúbal. Operates daily (operating on IP infrastructure)

Sociedade Metropolitano Ligeiro de Mirandela (90% owned by town council, 10% by CP): Metropolitano Ligeiro de Mirandela: operated over two short sections of the metre gauge line north and south from Mirandela on the line which formerly linked Tua and Bragança. The entire service was discontinued from 17 Dec 2018, allegedly for engineering work to enable the operation of a steam hauled tourist service south from Mirandela beyond the Metropolitano terminus at Cachão to Brunheda to connect with cruises on the dammed River Tua, but September 2022 web searches finds little to suggest much progress has been made.

Tourist Lines

  • Eléctrico de Sintra: (Metre gauge): Sintra to Praia das Maçãs (11 km). Operated by Sintra town council: services approximately hourly Sat-Sun & holiday afternoons, and two-hourly weekday afternoons in summer; two round trips Wednesdays to Sundays in winter (follow Timetable link from council's webpage). Sintra terminus is in front of Vila Alda, close to the Museu de Arte Moderna in the Estefânea district - 10 mins walk from CP station (follow Map link from council's webpage, although this does not show all of the request stops listed in the timetable).
  • Transpraia: (600mm gauge): Costa de Caparica - Fonte da Telha (7 km) along the beach. Operated by Transportes Recreativos da Praia do Sol, Lda.. Whilst the website still advertises it to run daily, June to September, the northern terminus, Praia Nova, looked derelict on a visit in July 2020. Whilst that may be have been due to Covid-19 it was not obvious it had operated in 2019. The compilers would appreciate any up to date information.
  • Praia do Barril railway: (600mm gauge): Pedras d'el Rei - Praia do Barril (beach) (1 km); operates frequently, during summer.


Lisboa; Porto; Sul do Tejo.

A track plan for the Metro Sul do Tejo is available on the Gleisplanweb site.


  • Lisboa (five routes)
  • Porto (three routes)
  • Sintra (see Tourist Lines, above). The Lisboa system contains the steepest adhesion worked tram tracks in the world, a gradient of 15% on route 28 on the west side of the city.

Track plans for all tram systems in Portugal are available on the Gleisplanweb site.

See also Portugal - Tram services over obscure routes

The Light Rail Transit Association's publication, The Tramways of Portugal can still be recommended (despite being somewhat dated, its fourth edition having been published in 1995).

Recent and Future Changes (most recent entries at top)

Recent Changes (Latest First)

In late 2022 the government announced plans for a €4.9bn high speed ​​line between Lisboa and Porto, with a €1bn contribution from the EU. This is a resurrection of the plan from 2005 which was a victim of the 2008 financial crash. It remains to be seen if and when work will start.

Train services were suspended on the Beira Alta line (Pampilhosa - Guarda - Vilar Formoso) on 19 April 2022 for an estimated 9 months for a €550m modernisation programme. The priority is to increase the capacity for freight traffic, allowing the operation of 750m long trains rather than the existing 400m. This includes the new 3.2 km Concordância da Mealhada at Pampilhosa to allow direct access to the Porto area.

The Covilhã - Guarda section of the Beira Baixa line reopened to passengers on 2 May 2021, having been used for the first time by a freight train on 18 April, following electrification. Passenger services had ceased from 9 March 2009. This included the new 1.5 km Concordância das Beiras curve, avoiding Guarda.

Electrification of the final section of the Minho line, from Viana do Castelo to Valença, was officially inaugurated on 29 April 2021.

The RENFE combined Sud Express and Lusitania Trenhotel to/from Lisboa was suspended on 17 March 2020, following the national lockdown in Spain, and never reinstated. This was the only passenger train across the border between Vilar Formoso and Fuentes de Oñoro.

The Metropolitano Ligeiro de Mirandela ceased their operations between Carvalhais - Mirandela - Cachão on 17 December 2018, allegedly for engineering work to provide a tourist service which would reopen further south from Cachão to a reservoir at Brunheda.

Caíde – Marco de Canaveses (Porto – Régua route) was electrified by 2017.

From 29 August 2017 passenger service (a daily round trip) was reinstated between [Entroncamento - Torre das Vargens - Portalegre - ] Elvas and Badajoz (Spain), previously closed in 2012. Entroncamento - Torre das Vargens - Portalegre reopened on 25 September 2015 for what was described at the time as a six month experimental service.

On 1 November 2013, passenger services were withdrawn on the Linha do Vouga between Oliveira de Azeméis and Sernada do Vouga owing to the poor track condition. This split the Aveiro - Sernada do Vouga - Espinho line into two sections: Aveiro - Sernada do Vouga and Espinho - Oliveira de Azeméis. The missing section was covered by a taxi service, although the line was used occasionally by empty trains to and from the depot and works at Sernada do Vouga.

From 8 September 2013 all trains north of Leiria have run to/from Coimbra B, with connections for Figueira da Foz at Verride; in consequence, the Amieira - Bifurcação de Lares curve lost its passenger service from this date.

From 15 August 2012 the Ramal de Cáceres (Torre das Vargens - Marvāo Beirã - Valencia do Alcántara (Spain) - Cáceres) closed to all traffic (also resulting in passenger service withdrawal between Entroncamento and Torre das Vargens). The sole remaining service - the Lusitania (Lisboa - Madrid sleeping car train) - was rerouted via the more northerly Vilar Formoso - Fuentes de Oñoro (Spain) border crossing. Through freight traffic had been discontinued on 5 February 2012.

In March 2012 the government confirmed its decision to suspend construction of the 167 km section from Poceirão to Caia (Spanish border) of the Lisboa - Madrid high speed line. The first phase - from Lisboa to Poceirao, including the new Tagus bridge - had already been cancelled. In December 2014 the Court of Auditors declared that the entire TGV project was not viable. The proposed line between Lisboa and Madrid was deemed particularly unprofitable.

From 4 January 2012 the Ramal da Lousã (Coimbra - Serpins) was closed and the track lifted, for conversion to metro operation (Metro Mondego). This project was subsequently abandoned and in February 2019 a so-called "metro bus" model based on electric buses was confirmed.

From 1 January 2012 Torre das Vargens - Elvas - Badajoz (Spain) and Beja - Funcheira closed to passengers, although the former reopened again from 29 August 2017.

From 1 January 2012 CP published official closure notices for the following lines, which had long been replaced by buses:

  • Linha do Corgo (Regua - Vila Real): replaced by buses since 25 March 2009.
  • Linha do Tâmega (Livracao - Amarante): replaced by buses since 25 March 2009
  • Ramal da Figueira da Foz (Figueira da Foz - Pampilhosa): replaced by buses since 05 January 2009.

From 11 December 2011 Intercity trains on the Linha do Sul (Lisboa to Faro) ceased running via Setúbal or Alcácer do Sal, and started using the cutoff bypassing Alcácer do Sal. Regional trains between Setúbal and Tunes ceased from the same day, so that both Setúbal - Águas de Moura and the old Linha do Sul main line through Alcácer do Sal lost their service. The cutoff, bypassing 35 km of the Linha do Sul round Alcácer do Sal, opened to regular traffic on 12 December 2010 when the Regional trains between Setúbal and Tunes started using it. However, its first use was on 28 October 2010, after a freight train derailment three days earlier had damaged several km of track.

From 1 October 2011 an ‘experimental’ resumption of passenger service between Setil and Coruche was withdrawn again owing to lack of demand.

From 25 July 2011 services between Lisboa and Evora were resumed after upgrading and electrification.

From 1 February 2011 Ermesinde – Leça do Balio was closed to passengers. The Leixões branch had previously closed to passengers in 1987, but Ermesinde – Leça do Balio reopened in 2009, with the remainder to Leixões to follow. Poor passenger loadings and a much more direct service by Metro led to abandonment of the whole scheme and this (re-)closure of the first section.

On 16 August 2010 a new 3 km line (variante Trofa), bypassing the old Trofa station, was opened, whereupon the old line closed.

In 2008, Espinho station was rebuilt underground, and the narrow gauge Vouga line was cut back to terminate at Espinho-Vouga.

Future Changes

The Linha do Oeste between Lisboa, Leiria and Figueira da Foz is being modernised in two tranches. A contract was awarded on 28 June 2022 for the first phase: electrification and renewal of 85 km from Mira Sintra-Meleças to Torres Vedras, including elimination of 15 level crossings. However, the maximum running speed will remain at 110 km/h. Completion is due by the end of 2023.
The second phase covers electrification of 44 km between Caldas da Rainha and Torres Vedras. The line speed will be raised from 120 km/h to 140 km/h. There is also to be a 2 km cut-off at Outeiro da Cabeça. However, this is just north of Torres Vedras, so it is unclear if this is included in the project or merely an aspiration.

In early February 2022 tenders were invited for the reconstruction of the 30 km metre gauge line between Oliveira de Azeméis and Sernada do Vouga. Work costing €4·9m should have been completed by the end of 2023, but has been delayed by 4 years.

Work to electrify Faro – Vila Real de Santo António started in November 2021, planned to be completed in October 2023. A contract has been signed for Tunes – Lagos and work should start in the second quarter of 2022 with completion planned by the end of 2024.

In September 2020 it was announced that the former Estoril Railway from Lisboa Cais do Sodré to Cascais is to be converted from 1500V DC to 25kV 50 Hz by the end of 2023.

In April 2020 the EU announced funding for expansion of the Metro do Porto: a new Line G from São Bento north west to Casa da Música and an extension of Line D from Santo Ovídio south east to Vila D’Este.

The long promised new freight line [South International Corridor] connecting the ports of Sines, [with connections from Setúbal and Lisboa] to Caia on the Spanish border near Badajoz is moving forward. The 79∙4 km new line between Évora and a triangular junction east of Elvas, which has gauge-convertible sleepers, is almost complete. It is possible a passenger service may start in early 2024. The route will be electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz.

The governmental 'strategic infrastructure plan' in preparation in summer 2018 contained no investment for the Casa Branca - Beja or Régua - Pocinho lines. They may therefore be in danger of closure, especially the latter which is not in good condition. The 2020 plan envisages the Douro line being electrified to Régua by 2025.

Special Notes

Cascais (Estoril Railway) is now almost certainly the westernmost railhead in Europe (Valentia Harbour in Ireland held that honour until closure in 1960).

Timetable direction contains a trap for the unwary: circulaçoes ascendentes (which one might translate as "up trains") are travelling away from the major terminal (and thus the opposite of most British practice); such trains carry odd numbers (equivalent of French impair).

Ramal = branch line; conc. (concordancia) = chord or connection; ap. (apeadeiro) = halt; bif. (bifurcação) = junction.

See also